Palouse City Council
Regular Council Meeting
October 14, 2014
CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Echanove called the Council Meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
ROLL CALL: Council members present: Doreen Hanson; Bo Ossinger; Mike Hicks; Senja Estes; Rick Wekenman; Bev Pearce. Absent: Councilmembers Langsett and Estes are out sick. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to excuse both councilmembers’ absences. Councilmember Hicks seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Staff present: Police Chief Jerry Neumann; Clerk-Treasurer Joyce Beeson; Deputy Clerk Ann Thompson. Public present: Dana Cowger of Varela and Associates (left at 8:16 pm); Susan Cowger (left at 8:16 pm).
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Councilmember Hanson MOVED to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing & Regular Council Meeting of Sept. 23, 2014. Councilmember Pearce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Supt. Griffin submitted a written report.
The police department is gearing up for Haunted Palouse. The PD purchased communication radios for use during the event which should provide a clearer line of communication between the haunted houses and trail. The radios are in and programmed. The FD will be on the same channel as well. Chief Neumann asked HP staff to contribute funds for that purchase. All three police officers will be working.
Over the last couple weeks we’ve had numerous dog complaints (more than usual). We issued one citation and impounded two dogs just today. Along with that is the ongoing chicken issues; new complaints from new victims. If a chicken owner isn’t responsible, it makes it hard on all the neighbors and the city hears about it.
WWTP Update: every five years we get our NPDES permit from DOE to operate our sewer plant. About 18 months ago DOE told us they were going to change the parameters of the discharge into the river. As a result, the city had to hire an engineering firm (Varela & Associates) to help us with planning and compliance. Two immediate things that need to be addressed: 1) the upcoming review assistance for the new NPDES permit being issued by DOE; and 2) DOE’s funding application due 11/7/14. At the IACC conference a few weeks ago, Mayor, Mike Bagott, and our engineer Dana Cowger met with DOE and other funding partners. They helped look at the big picture and how we should proceed. Dana spoke at council tonight to address the project timeline/initial task list, scope of work, compensation, schedule, and authorization to proceed. The engineering contract is with our city attorney for review. Much discussion ensued about the DOE findings, etc. There is always the chance the city doesn’t get funding from DOE, but that would just mean postponing things for a year. DOE’s funding is 100% loan. They also offer 50% principal forgiveness to communities whose median household income is below 80% of the state average household income. Palouse’s is at 80.4% (.4% over) which makes us not eligible. The city needs to consider whether or not we should do a community income survey. It would be managed by a third party such as RCAC. There are costs involved as well as a great deal of work. It would be a gamble as to the outcome. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to authorize Joyce to draft a budget amendment adding $5,000 to the existing budget of $10,000 for 2014 expenditures for the project. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. Councilmember Hicks MOVED to allow the mayor, pending legal review, to sign the contract with Varela for the funding procurement, NPDES permit assistance, and project management. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) inter-local agreement:
In May we passed Resolution 2014-03 authorizing membership in the Palouse RTPO. The inter-local agreement is the formal ratification of that resolution. Councilmember Hanson MOVED to authorize the mayor to sign the agreement. Councilmember Pearce seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Ordinance No. 917 – closing funds 304, 305, 310, & 315: Mayor read aloud the ordinance in its entirety. All funds held in Fund 304 Vehicle & Maintenance Reserve, Fund 305 Building Maintenance, Fund 310 Sick Leave Reserve, and Fund 315 Park Improvements will be transferred back to the contributing funds. They will be closed effective December 31, 2014. These funds are no longer fitting the definitions set by the state. Many of the bars numbers that were used in those funds are becoming obsolete. Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to adopt ordinance No. 917. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously. A budget amendment will come before the council at the next meeting which will allow the funds to be moved.
2015 Budget Discussions:
Fund 001 current expense was reviewed line by line. Discussions will continue.
Policy & Administration, Chair Hanson – Regarding PMC “Title 6-Animals”. The committee has met to discuss potential changes/updates/rewrites to Title 6 including swine, livestock, birds/poultry, and dogs. They will bring suggestions to the next meeting.
The city has received numerous, overwhelming, public records requests (PRR’s) in the last few weeks from Steve McGehee, Jim Farr, & Nicole Wood. Councilmember Hicks spoke with Bruce Reim at Canfield & Associates regarding all the PRR’s we’ve been getting and how to handle them all. Some cities are budgeting money for extra staff to handle PRR’s. Bruce gives workshops to city councils and we will schedule one.
The city got the results back from the Washington Surveying & Rating Bureau. We were able to maintain our fire rating of Protection Class 6. Chief Bagott and the full department are commended for their efforts.
The Dept. of Commerce sent a letter stating that based on our current size and rate of growth, our critical areas update will become due June 30, 2020.
Councilmember Wekenman MOVED to set the preliminary budget public hearings on November 11 & November 25. Councilmember Hanson seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
ALLOW PAYMENT OF BILLS: Councilmember Pearce MOVED that the bills against the city be allowed. Councilmember Wekenman seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
ADJOURN: Councilmember Pearce MOVED to adjourn. Councilmember Hicks seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The council meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.
The following checks are approved for payment:
Payroll Paid 9/30/14 Ck. #6022-6041 & EFT $ 40,360.63
Claims Paid 10/14/14 Ck. #6042-6075 & EFT $110,420.76
APPROVED: ________________________________ ATTEST: ________________________________